This interesting research linked to below at first seems counterintuitive.
Why should people who become more mindful of themselves willingly choose (get motivated) to do more exercise.
As a guess you frequently read something or hear something that leads you to say to yourself words like “I will do some more exercise this time.” Don’t worry I won’t tell anybody you didn’t follow through. You’re absolutely normal.
The way we think about how we motivate ourselves, how we get going, how we overcome hurdles, the strategies and approaches are changing. Thank goodness. Traditionally it’s been a very mechanical approach the carrot or the stick. Somehow we have to motivate ourselves with punishment or reward to get things done. We can imagine this is very much an outside in approach to motivation.
Today it’s becoming clear that if you can use an inside out approach to motivation then it makes it easier for people to do the things they do know are good for them and they want to do.
Perhaps when you think of mindfulness you get caught up in the current hype around present moment, being open and curious. These are true but are well short of what mindfulness is. Mindfulness, traditionally, has been far more than this.
Most research projects, and most training courses, of mindfulness focus on this narrow approach of present moment awareness with openness and curiosity.
The real power comes when we connect it with what’s most important to us. Often this is called our Core Values.
With the research article below, we could perhaps think of it this way. Just about all of us will have our health as a core value. Even if it’s not our health today but are healthful tomorrow. What happens in life is the immediate grabs our minds. The email alerts, the impending sales deadline.
When mindfulness is combined with our core values then, it’s much easier to stay connected with what’s most important to us, the things that will lead us to a rewarding and fulfilling life, then choose willingly to take the actions.
When working with individuals mindfulness has been combined with committed action to follow core values in an approach called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It’s one of the approaches that those of us here in Mindfulness Mavericks appreciate and use.
If you are one of the many who feels guilty about not doing enough exercise, you’ve tried the carrot you tried the stick and nothing works. Perhaps it’s time to follow a different approach. If you need more reason to develop mindfulness then please read the article below.
A meditation and stress reduction program may be as effective at getting people to move more as structured exercise programs, according to a new study led by an Iowa State University researcher. The study compared two intervention programs – mindfulness-based stress reduction and aerobic exercise training – with a control group and measured changes in exercise, general physical activity and sedentary time.
Motivation to move may start with being mindful